The American Dental Association® recommends replacing your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every three to four months - or whenever you see flatted, frayed bristles.
This schedule isn't random. Instead, it's based on the wear your toothbrush head experiences, the bacteria it picks up and its effectiveness in controlling plaque, tartar and related conditions like cavities and gum disease.
Unfortunately, about three-quarters of Americans forget to do this - or regularly push past that three-month timeframe - and their dental care suffers as a result. Read the compelling reasons why you should replace your toothbrush head about every three months.
Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, bristles are manufactured to be at the same height, often in a dome formation for ideal contact. Unfortunately, this formation starts to go awry when the brush is used regularly. The bristles start to look flat or stick up in certain places, and they can develop a frayed appearance.
This doesn't just look worn - bristle damage also affects performance. The brush is less likely to scrape away plaque and tartar, causing them to build up in certain areas. At the same time, the pricklier texture can irritate the gumline, contributing to gum recession, and may even abrade your enamel.
Frayed bristles can also affect how well the toothbrush performs. The flattened texture doesn't clean away plaque as well and can't reach between your teeth. This can lead to increased tartar formation and ups your risks for developing cavities and gingivitis. Uneven frayed bristle can scratch the tooth's enamel giving bacteria more places to accumulate.
You think you make an effort to keep your toothbrush dry and clean. Yet, even with this diligence, bacteria still accumulates. This process can accelerate based on certain conditions, such as if you:
- Flush the toilet with the seat up.
- Store your toothbrush near your toilet.
- Use a toothbrush cover, which can harbor moisture and allow bacteria and even mold to accumulate.
- Have a bathroom with poor ventilation, increasing the room's moisture content.
Tips for Maintaining and Switching Your Toothbrush Head
To get the most use out of your toothbrush head:
- Don't brush too hard or apply too much pressure, as this can cause the bristles to wear out sooner.
- Thoroughly rinse the bristles, including before and after use, with warm to hot water.
- Remove any excess moisture after use.
- UVC sanitizers like the one that comes in the izzo kit kills 99.9% of germs that lurk on your brush
Then, consider setting a reminder for every three months to replace your toothbrush head. However, if you notice visible fraying, you may need to make this switch sooner.
The izzo® 4-in-1 Oral Care System makes sticking to a replacement schedule easier with a subscription model. You can sign up for automatic refills when you first purchase the system or after you've started using it. You can select how frequently you expect to replace your toothbrush head. This subscription program saves you money long term, makes it more convenient to change out your toothbrush head and helps you maintain good dental health.